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Dealing with Dilemmas: Where Business Analytics Fall Short

ISBN: 978-0-470-63031-0
220 pages
August 2010
Dealing with Dilemmas: Where Business Analytics Fall Short (0470630310) cover image


Observing how business management is obsessed with analysis and numbers, Dealing with Dilemmas shows there is an entire class of problems that cannot be solved by analysis: business dilemmas. Dilemmas, representing a large part of strategic decision-making, require the opposite approach of analysis; synthesis. Dealing with Dilemmas shows how popular performance management methodologies can be used in new and previously unexplored ways. It authoritatively shows you how your business can move forward strategically in ways previously impossible.

  • Shows dangers in current thinking around analytics and performance management
  • Includes practical case examples and interviews with C-level executives and government officials world-wide, both in commercial enterprise and public sector
  • Makes the most nebulous of management processes, strategy formulation, insightful and links it tightly to strategy execution and performance management.

Filled with case studies and examples, this book reveals how your business can start solving dilemmas and move forward strategically.

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Table of Contents




Chapter 1: What's the Problem?

What Is a Dilemma?

A Short Overview of History.

Chapter 2: Strategy Is about Making Choices, or Is It?

What Is Strategy?

Strategy Content.

Strategy Process.

Strategy Context.

Make the Choices that Create Options.

Chapter 3: All Kinds of Dilemmas, but Just a Few Types.

Identifying Dilemmas using the Balanced Scorecard.

Value or Profit?

Long-term or Short-term?

Top-down or Bottom up?

Inside-out or Outside-in?

Optimize or Innovate?

Listen or Lead?

Two Types.

Chapter 4: The Strategy Elastic.

Strategic Bias.

Neutral Zone.

Strategically Stuck.

Strategic Stretch.

Strategy Elastic.

Profiles in Performance.

Time to Take that Look in the Mirror.


Chapter 5: Dealing with Dilemmas, or Not?

How Not to Deal with Dilemmas.

How to Deal with Dilemmas: Either/Or.

How to Deal with Dilemmas: And/And.

The Right Mindset.

Dealing with Dilemmas Roadmap.

Chapter 6: To Decide or Not to Decide, That’s the Question.

The Eye of Ambiguity.

A Few Examples.

Chapter 7: This and That.

Many-of-these versus Many-of-those.

Lifting the Constraints.

Efficient Frontiers.

One-big-this versus One-big-that.

Cost Cutting.

Improvement of Return.

One-big-this or One-big-that: Round Two.

Chapter 8: You and Me.

Morality and Ethics.

Three Elements to Resolve You-and-me Dilemmas.

A Structured Approach.

Top-down and Bottom-up.

Value and Profit.

Chapter 9: Now and Later.

Long term and Short term.

Listen and Lead, Optimize and Innovate.

Scenario Planning: Seeing What Others Don't.

Scenario-based Strategy Maps.

Case: Tier 1 Talent.

Chapter 10: Increasing the Stakes.

Interorganizational Dilemmas.

Stakeholder Alignment Map.

Case: AgriProc.

In Conclusion.

Chapter 11: Closing Thoughts.


Relationships, Human Behavior, and Culture.

Appendix: Company Profiles.

Achmea (Europe).

AgriProc (anonymized name, United States).

Cox Communications (United States).

Global Soft Commodities Singapore (anonymized, Singapore).

Publishing Corp (anonymized, English-speaking country).

National Central Bank (anonymized, Europe).

Novozymes (Denmark).

Polycom (United States).

Vopak (Netherlands).

Dick Berlijn (Netherlands).

Nirmal Hansra.

Dr. Edmund Stoiber (Germany).


About the Author.


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Author Information

Frank Buytendijk—author and thought leader in strategy, performance management, and organizational behavior—reveals that managers can face dilemmas with confidence, once they understand that dilemmas can take them to another dimension of insight with opportunities to fundamentally solve problems. Executives will benefit from getting a better grip on the dilemmas they face every day. IT professionals and business analysts will learn how to better position their analytical skills and tools. Students will get an overview of the most current strategic thinking.

Making complex concepts accessible and readable, Dealing with Dilemmas turns traditional business strategy on its head with masterful tools for guiding companies from once unsolvable dilemmas to world-class performance.

FRANK BUYTENDIJK is a Vice President and Fellow at one of the largest software companies in the world. Earlier, he was a research vice president with analyst firm Gartner. As a researcher, road warrior, and stage animal, he is frequently called to be a keynote speaker at large events worldwide. For more information, see www.frankbuytendijk.com.

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Press Release

August 11, 2010
Dealing With Dilemmas

Author Frank Butendijk describes the common dilemmas most businesses face and explains how to deal with them, in material taken from his book Dealing With Dilemmas.

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